The Benefits of Aromatherapy + My Favorite Essential Oils
I’m a big believer in the power of essential oils to support a healthy, thriving life. They can be fantastic tools in providing the impetus and support you need to relax, reset, energize and reconnect with your mind, body and soul. In fact, that’s the beauty of these plant-powered blends: They’re extremely versatile and can be tailored seamlessly to your daily life, depending on your needs.
Some of my favorite essential oils to have on hand include lavender, clary sage and eucalyptus.
Lavender is a great option when you need to take a little break from life. We’ve all been there—the deadlines are building, you’re exhausted and stressed, and you feel constantly on edge. This is a perfect time to turn to lavender essential oil, known for its relaxing and anxiety-reducing effects. For instant relief, rub a couple drops between the palms of your hands, breathing into them slowly and deeply for 10 seconds or more. When used in conjunction with deep inhalation techniques, the scent will travel to your amygdala gland—also known as your emotional headquarters—signaling to your brain that it’s time to calm down. You can also dab a little on your pulse points to provide that extra boost of support. This is especially helpful when you’re in a crowd or traveling, since it’s both easy and subtle.
- When I’m in need of emotional support, I turn to clary sage, known for its mood lifting aroma. It works to balance hormones, and can promote feelings of confidence, mental strength and wellbeing, thus fighting depression. That being said, I truly believe that all of our emotions are here for a reason—they’re meant to be felt, and they serve as messengers, telling us something about ourselves. Rather than judging ourselves for our feelings, we should honor and allow them, while also acknowledging that, much like thoughts, they are just passing experiences—ephemeral moments that come and go. Clary sage acts as a reminder for me that even though I may be struggling right now, that’s all it is: an experience happening right now. I will breathe, I will get through it, and so will you.
- Eucalyptus is favorite for post-workout showers—just a couple of drops on a wet washcloth hung on my shower rack turns my normal routine into a spa-like experience that serves a purpose well beyond cleansing. As a big believer in self-care, I’m always looking for ways I can transform otherwise mundane tasks into opportunities to exercise self-kindness. Taking the time to do this small act for myself pays off dividends—not only does my shower turn into a relaxing escape, but it reminds me that I’m worth it, that it’s the small things in life that end up making the biggest impact. As I’ve always said, self-care doesn’t need to be fancy, expensive, complicated or time-consuming. It can be woven into the very fabric of your life, as long as you get creative and give yourself permission.
Whichever oil you choose to incorporate, play around with different methods. You can’t go wrong with the traditional inhalation method, but there are many others—mixing a few drops into your bath water or body oils, diffusing, creating your own home spray. Use this as an opportunity to experiment and find what works best for you!
Have you ever used essential oils before? What are your favorites and how do you incorporate them?
XO - Serena